Kitchen updates on a plate

Your kitchen is often the hub of your home, and giving it a makeover can transform your whole property. Julia Gray offers her easy and cost-friendly tips …

Replacing your home’s kitchen can seem a costly, lengthy and disruptive process. You must remember though, a nice kitchen will add value to your property, make your home instantly more sellable and – perhaps most importantly – become the room you spend most of your time in. Surely that’s an investment worth making?

Gutting the room and starting from scratch is a great way to create your dream kitchen, but only if you have the cash and are prepared to put up with upheaval. If this isn’t an option, there are easier and less expensive ways to update your kitchen.

The obvious starting point is repainting the walls, ceiling and woodwork. A new colour can make a big difference, especially if the existing paintwork is tatty – filler, sandpaper and paint work small wonders. For the walls and ceiling, use a kitchen and bathroom emulsion because they are specially designed to resist steam, mould and stains.

If repainting alone isn’t enough to make a difference, then new tiles, flooring and worktops can also transform the kitchen without breaking the bank. Providing the units are in reasonable condition, you can keep them and just change the doors for different ones (or paint the existing ones). With any luck, they’ll be a standard size, so it’s simply a case of swapping them in. If they’re not a standard size, you can make new doors yourself – MDF works well – or get them made by a joiner or online kitchen and wardrobe door company.

Sometimes you have no choice but to replace the units, especially if you want a different layout. Takeaway kitchen units, which are available off-the-shelf in DIY stores, tend to be the cheapest. Some come complete with doors and handles, while others are just the base or wall unit – you buy the extras separately, giving you more flexibility. Depending on the size and shape of your kitchen, takeaway units may not be ideal because they’re a standard size and so may not fit the space, but bespoke units obviously cost an awful lot more. Look out for offers – the Christmas/January sales in most stores aren’t too far away, and B&Q has regular 20% off kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms (with a minimum spend) – the current offer ends on November 7.

One way to get kitchen units (and worktops, tiles, appliances, and so on) for a fraction of the usual price is to look on eBay. This is a good place to find ex-display kitchens and kitchens being sold off by homeowners. You may also, of course, be able to find ex-display bargains in your local DIY store or kitchen retailer, but the problem with any pre-fitted kitchen is that the units are unlikely to fit the space you have exactly, so you’ll probably have to make compromises. For the best bargains, try give-away websites, such as Freecycle ( and Freegle (, where, as the names suggest, everything is free.

The following two tabs change content below.
Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!